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Living on Earth


Steve Curwood hosts this weekly environmental news and information program.

Steve Curwood hosts this weekly environmental news and information program.
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Cambridge, MA




Steve Curwood hosts this weekly environmental news and information program.




20 Holland Street Suite 408 Somerville, MA 02144-2749 1-800-218-9988


The Outlaw Ocean, Eat Like a Fish, Banning New Gas Hookups and more

Banning New Natural Gas Hookups / Beyond the Headlines / The Outlaw Ocean / Eat Like a Fish / Remembering EPA Head William Ruckelshaus Seventy percent of our planet is covered by the oceans, and in this vast wilderness lawlessness is rampant, with crimes ranging from illegal fishing to slavery at sea. These high crimes on the high seas are the focus of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Urbina's new book, The Outlaw Ocean. Also, overfishing and climate change are hitting fish stocks hard,...


The Silent Killer Called PM2.5, Reflections on the Native American Tradition of Giving Thanks, Brewing a Specialty Coffee Market, and more

The Silent Killer Called PM2.5 / Beyond the Headlines / Science Note: Toad Mimics Venomous Snake / Cosmic Crisp Apples / Brewing a Specialty Coffee Market / A Typical Carbon Footprint of Thanksgiving / Reflections on the Native American Tradition of Giving Thanks / Cranberries Take Center Stage The fine particulate air pollution known as PM2.5 has been shown to be deadly with correlation to heart attacks and strokes, and a new study links it with three more specific causes of death:...


ExxonMobil Awaits Fraud Ruling, A Public Housing Green New Deal, A Tasty Vegan Thanksgiving, and more

ExxonMobil Fraud Decision Due / UN Climate Ambition Gap / A Public Housing Green New Deal / Beyond The Headlines / Winter Wolf Song / Winter Wolves on the Move / A Tasty Vegan Thanksgiving With federal public housing in urgent need of upgrades, the new "Green New Deal for Public Housing Act" aims to create thousands of jobs while improving public health and reducing carbon emissions. Also, climate loss and damage is already upon us, even as UN negotiators look for fair ways to share...


Tackling Plastic Waste, EPA Seeks Confidential Medical Records, The Pan-Borneo Highway, and more

EPA Seeks Confidential Health Records / The Bottle Deposit Debate / Senator Tom Udall Takes on Plastic Waste / Beyond the Headlines / The Pan-Borneo Highway / Good Housekeeping The EPA sset limits for pollutants in our air and water to protect public health. Now the agency is proposing a controversial rule to require any study used for its rulemaking to disclose raw data including confidential medical records. Also, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) aims to curb the growing plastic waste crisis...


Keystone Oil Spill, Baja California's Wildfires, Rainforests 'Worth More Alive Than Dead', and more

Big Keystone Oil Spill / Beyond the Headlines / Wildfires Strike Baja California / BirdNote®: The Butcherbird / Let The Leaves Be And Feed The Birds / Rainforests 'Worth More Alive Than Dead' In late October, nearly 400,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from the existing Keystone pipeline into a North Dakota wetland, reviving concerns about the safety of the proposed Keystone XL extension. Also, the extreme heat and winds that fueled wildfires in the State of California this October also...


Fighting Fire with Fire, Healthy People Equal Healthy Forests, Pope Hosts Amazon Synod, and more

Fighting Fire with Prescribed Fire / Beyond the Headlines / Note on Emerging Science: Deforestation and Malaria / Healthy People Equal Healthy Forests / BirdNote®: Green Birds and Brown Birds in the Tropical Rainforest / Pope Hosts Amazon Synod For many of those living in and near tropical forests, one of the only ways to get cash to pay for healthcare is by logging. Now the nonprofit Health in Harmony is providing healthcare that patients can pay for with seedlings or manure. Also, Pope...


Ethane Crackers and Air Pollution, Coastal Living Boosts Mental Health, YouTubers Launch Tree Planting Campaign, and more

Ethane Crackers Spark Pollution Concerns / BirdNote®: Red-Necked Phalaropes, Spinners On The Sea / Living Near The Coast Could Boost Mental Health / Oyster Shell Recycling / Nobel Prize in Chemistry Recognizes Lithium Battery Discoveries / Beyond the Headlines / 'Largest YouTube Collaboration Ever' Aims to Plant 20 Million Trees A glut of cheap natural gas has petrochemical companies turning to ethane, a component of natural gas, to make plastic. But the process comes with massive carbon...


10K Farmers Want a Green New Deal, The Economic Value of the National Parks, Exploring the Parks: Great Smoky Mountains, and more

10,000 Farmers Want a Green New Deal / BirdNote®: Who Likes Suet? / Beyond the Headlines / The Economic Value of the National Parks / Exploring the Parks: Great Smoky Mountains / Arctic Fox Hunting More than 10,000 farmers and ranchers from across the country have signed on to a letter that urges Congress to support a Green New Deal. They're asking for a massive overhaul of food and farming policy in order to address the climate crisis while providing economic security for independent...


Youth Mental Health Problems From Pollution, Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, The 2019 Fat Bear Week Champion, and more

Youth Mental Health Problems From Pollution / Beyond the Headlines / Whistleblowers on Trump Science / The 2019 Fat Bear Week Champion / Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast This week on the podcast, the type of air pollution known as PM 2.5 is all around us from the burning of fossil fuels, and it's linked to strokes and heart attacks. Now there is mounting evidence that it may also be harming the mental health of children by worsening depression, anxiety, suicidality and more. Also,...


Reducing the Price of Electricity by Reducing Emissions, Bison for Sustainable Land Management, DNA Barcoding, and more.

Trump Fights California / Beyond the Headlines / Success of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative / DNA Barcoding for Quick Species ID / Bison and Sustainable Land Management The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI, has lowered carbon emissions in participating states by roughly fifty percent while at the same time lower electricity rates for consumers. Some 30 million bison once roamed the Great Plains of North America, by the turn of the century there were less than 600. One ranch...


Silencing Spring, Shipping Container Farms, Celebrating the Fattest Bears and more

Silencing Spring / BirdNote®: Snowy Egrets - Killer Hats / Kids Versus the Climate Crisis / Fat Bear Week! / Beyond the Headlines / Container Farming in the City Scientists have documented a staggering decline in North America's birds in recent decades. As many as 3 billion birds have disappeared since 1970, and grassland birds and shorebirds have been hit especially hard. Also, Fat Bear Week is a yearly competition to celebrate the fattest, healthiest brown bears in Katmai National Park....


Rebooting Puerto Rican Power, Naomi Klein's Case for a Green New Deal, Clean Water Rollbacks, and more

UN Climate Action Summit / Beyond the Headlines / Clean Water Rollbacks / Rebooting Puerto Rican Power / Naomi Klein's Case for a Green New Deal When Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico in 2017, it crippled the island's fossil fuel-dependent electrical grid. To improve resiliency, the territory is aiming for a 100%-renewable grid by 2050. Also, stronger hurricanes are a sign that the world is on fire - but so is the movement that's calling for action. In her new book "On Fire", Naomi...


The Border Wall and Wildlife, Coal Plant Ash Disaster for Workers, Andrew Yang's Climate Plan, and more

Coal Ash Cleanup Allegedly Deadly for Tennessee Workers / Andrew Yang's Climate Plan / Beyond the Headlines / Pronghorn Antelope / How the Border Wall Could Harm Wildlife Dozens of workers who helped clean up a 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee have died and hundreds more fallen ill from diseases linked to the disaster. Now a fight for justice for these workers has won a round in the courts. Also, how President Trump's border wall could sever habitats and migratory paths for wildlife in the...


Climate Crisis Town Hall, The Amazon's Tipping Point, Underland: A Deep Time Journey, and more

Amazon Tipping Point / Democratic Candidates Talk Solutions at Climate Town Hall / Reviewing the Climate Crisis Town Hall / Beyond The Headlines / Underland: A Deep Time Journey The fires in the Amazon rainforest are illuminating the alarming speed of deforestation in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth - and bringing it closer to a "tipping point" transition into dry savannah. Also, Democratic presidential hopefuls spell out their plans to address the climate emergency at town...


Gaza Water Crisis, Saltwater Beavers Promote Estuary Health, Everglades National Park: a “River of Grass”, and more

Saltwater Beavers Bring Life Back to Estuaries / Everglades National Park, a "River of Grass" / Drilling in the Everglades / Fly-fishing Saved From Pollution / Gaza Water Crisis In the Gaza Strip, where every three out of four people are refugees, clean water is scarce and there's a worsening health crisis for Gaza's children. Also, it turns out that beavers, a keystone species in some freshwater ecosystems, could hold the key to help restore degraded coastal habitats, too. And Everglades...


Farming While Black, Toxic Diapers and Sanitary Pads, A Steamy Date for 'Romeo and Juliet' Frogs, and more

Toxicants in Diapers and Sanitary Pads / 'Romeo and Juliet' Frogs' First Steamy Date / Exploring The Parks: North Cascades National Park / Refugees Cultivate Healing Through Gardening / Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land A recent study finds that single-use diapers and sanitary pads contain phthalates and volatile organic compounds, chemicals that are known to cause a variety of health complications including birth defects and endocrine...


Re-wilding the English Countryside, Climate Migrant Caravans, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and more

Climate Migrant Caravans / The Place Where You Live: Anchorage, Alaska / Exploring the Parks: Sequoia and Kings Canyon / Confronting Climate Change Through Sound / Rewilding The English Countryside The recent waves of migrant caravans coming from Central America have a link to climate change: many of the migrants are fleeing their homes in the wake of crop failures, the result of a massive drought that has lasted for five years. Also, the constant onslaught of grim statistics about climate...


No-Show Green Voters, Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands, Desegregating America's Shoreline, and more

No-Show Green Voters / Exploring the Parks: Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands / BirdNote®: Ponderosa Pine Savanna / Fighting Climate Change, Naturally / Free the Beaches: Desegregating America's Shoreline In the United States, approximately 20 million registered voters list the environment as one of their top two priorities. But these "super-environmentalists" tend to stay home on Election Day. Also, Arizona's Sky Islands are home to heat and cactus, but also many species that you're...


An Afternoon with Pete Seeger, Exploring the Parks: Aniakchak, Vegan Generation Gap, and more

Exploring the Parks: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve / BirdNote: Exquisite Thrush Song / Vegan Generation Gap / An Afternoon with Pete Seeger Folk music legend Pete Seeger was renowned for his combination of music and social activism. A year before the first Earth Day, Mr. Seeger and friends built a sloop he christened the Clearwater, because that was his intention: to clear the waters of the Hudson River of pollution and garbage. Also, as part of Living on Earth's series exploring...


Miners Pollute the Sea of Cortez, Raising Monarch Butterflies, Guinea Fowl and Tick Control, and more

Miners Pollute the Sea of Cortez / Beyond the Headlines / How to Raise Monarchs / Taggers at Work / Monarch Migration / The Value of Summer Camp / Guinea Fowl and Tick Control / BirdNote®: Do Birds Use Ants as Tools? Mining company Grupo Mexico has spilled millions of gallons of toxic mining chemicals and waste into the Sea of Cortez and rivers that feed into it, endangering people and the natural ecosystem. Now locals are demanding justice in the wake of the latest disaster. Also, some...